Montenegro: Montenegro’s National Security Agency confirms surveillance of anti-corruption advocates

Issued by MANS (The Network for Affirmation of the NGO Sector)

National Security Agency (NSA) is collecting information on all five MANS programme leaders. Vanja Ćalović, Dejan Milovac, Veselin Bajčeta, Vuk Maraš and Zorica Ćeranić, using Article 18 of the Law on NSA, requested from NSA to provide information on whether that institution is collecting and keeping records of their personal data and if that is the case, to provide insight into this information.

Article 18, paragraphs 1 and 2 of the Law on NSA, states that NSA is obliged to respond to written requests of citizens and to inform him or her of whether they are keeping records on them, as well as to provide insight into documents containing collected data, all within a deadline of 30 days.

Chief of the NSA Director Cabinet, Miroslav Bjelica, informed us that requested documentation could not be delivered, as publishing information that NSA is collecting on MANS leaders “could disable, better say endanger implementation of certain activities from NSA jurisdiction.”

Saying that, Mr. Bjelica called upon Article 18, paragraph 3 of the Law on NSA that states that NSA is not obliged to provide information collected on a person if such activity could endanger implementation of NSA’s activities or risk the security of another person. It also states that the person requesting the insight into such information will be informed about it within 15 days.

Having this, MANS leaders are the first individuals that received written confirmation that NSA is collecting information on them, and that they cannot see the collected information thus far as that will endanger the continuance of secret actions that this institution is planning or conducting over us.

However, we still do not know whether NSA is tapping our phones, following us, as well as secretly photographing and recording; if these measures expand to persons connected to us and our families; how many agents are employed; whether our letters and mails are checked, including correspondences with foreign diplomatic representatives, as well as record our meetings with Montenegrin and foreign officials. Likewise, there is no information on how long we are under surveillance of the NSA.

The most important question is how is MANS endangering national security and interests of the Montenegrin citizens and who requested from NSA to start collecting information on us.

For any press enquiries please contact

Vanja Ćalović, Executive Director
T: +382 (0)20.266.326, 266.327
Fax: +382 (0)20.266.328


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